human

Relation + Connexion

I’ve started a new series!! As you may have noticed by now, I tend to go through phases. The longer this blog is alive, the more categories will appear on the sidebar – I like to keep it fresh.

This new series is titled “Relation + Connexion“. So there’s a physical connection, a relation between one and another, but there’s more to it (it goes deeper than skin)! I already have a lot of ideas and drafts in progressย for this series that have a little less to do with physical contact. But for the kickoff, yes, they will mostly be focused on the physical side. Prepare yourselves. Love is in the air. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ll be reposting theseย later (full size), along with the rest of the sketches that I’ve been working on, but here is a little sneak peak of the first four that got me started:

Hold My HandNever Let Me GoEnd Of The NightPalm to Palm

So this is the beginning of another journey! I’m excited to share my drawings with you as they come to me. I’ve received so many notes of encouragement and I just have to put out a big “THANK YOU” to all my loving and supportive family and friends!! I love you all so much and appreciate all you have to offer and say! Your lives are an inspiration to me and my art: you keep me growing whether it’s in your critique or your compliments. ๐Ÿ™‚

I do believe I am happy with this new start…

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Jump for Joy

LET IT OUT!

When you feel something, whether good or bad, no matter what it is, I firmly believe you should show it. Feeling sad? Show it – give others the opportunity to comfort you. Feeling stressed? Show it – maybe you can share your burden. Feeling confused? Show it – someone has the answer, if you just ask the question. Feeling overjoyed? Show it – allow everyone to celebrate with you in this great feeling! Spread the love!

jump

This is my “jump for joy” sketch. I think it’s an incredible feat just to be able to do this (don’t try this at home kids!) but it expresses SO MUCH! I saw a shirt once that said “Happy People Dance”. How true. I mean, that’s not the extent of it, but I definitely believe that truly happy people will express themselves in some way, I think you should! Show your happiness, spread that joy, that energy! Let your life be a contagion of emotion.

Spread the love, people. You never know who’s watching and needs that affection.

I do believe I am HAPPY with this sketch. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Turtle Wins The Race

I’ve been feeling very flexible as of late. In fact, I’m finding it difficult to really feel the basic poses anymore unless I go into class feeling sore to begin with! It’s pushing me to work harder, which is good.

My yoga instructor noticed the ease with which I took a backbend last week and gently encouraged me to take one of my feet off the mat. I appreciate these little tips since they help me put everything in perspective – I may be able to do step 1, but that’s just the beginning! Yoga is a constant growth process,ย there is no end goal. There are tiny goals to advance your practice along the way (this year I resolved to do a handstand, for instance), but once achieved you don’t stop there – you keep going. ๐Ÿ™‚

The backbend I took was Wheel, and I absolutely collapsed without being rooted by both feet. It was humbling for me, but I will continue to work on it. Here is what it would look like if I could do it perfectly:

Extended Wheel

…or something to that effect. As much as I encourage everyone to try something new and by all means to stretch as much as possible, I do not recommend just popping into wheel without warming up first. It is usually at the end of a hot class when your body is relaxed and nimble that we take our backbends and inversions. If you try this at home, please do some spinal warm-ups first!

In yoga, if something feels easy, we slow down. Slowing down and continuing to move with fluidity and grace is actually WAY HARDER than moving rapidly from pose to pose. Sometimes we need to slow down to feel it, so challenge yourself by moving with *intention* instead of powering through it, in some area of your life this week.

I do believe I am happy with this sketch.

With Passion and Verve

I met a ballerina last night – she was incredible: so flexible and nimble in the strongest but leanest of bodies, moving with the grace of the 15-year classically-trained ballerina that she is. It was an honor to be with her in the yoga class we both attended, and she will endlessly inspire me.

When I got home I started this sketch – it’s not of the dancer I met, but it’s inspired by her, by the passion I saw, the fire, and again, the grace.

DANCER

The power in the movement is contagious to me; my body hears the silent music and I must dance.

Can I say that this is my all-time-favorite of all the sketches I’ve done? I think so. I’m very proud of it, not in a boasting way (I can draw better than you) but simply because I see how far I’ve come and as the artist know exactly how much effort I put into it. Sure, it took longer than any of my others but it was so worth it!!

I do believe I am extremely happy with this one! ๐Ÿ™‚

Selfie

Well as I mentioned, I think I’m done with my yoga series. That was brought to a close with my last post which depicted Crow. Not bad, if I do say so myself. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I still haven’t really found my niche on the next subjectย – I have a few ideas that I’ve played around with, but they’re not finalized yet. More to come…

In the meantime, I dug around for some old material. This is actually a self portrait I did a while ago, working from an Instagram photo I took during the first snow of that year. Don’t remember which year…

My face, myselfI actually blew the photo up on my laptop and traced the outline of my face (cheating, I know!) since I wanted to work off of something I could count on as accurate. Hey, it worked! It took meย days to finish this, but I really like how it turned out. I played with a few different styles and techniques – you can see it was almost comic-book-esque with the cheekbones and some of the hair; the face is over-exposed and intricately accurate; the coat is sketchy and almost pen-like; I used a messy child-like coloring method on the hair, but kept the rest of the shading crosshatched; erased for highlights, as I was taught in art class so many years ago. ๐Ÿ™‚

I wanted to give the impression of snow and wind since that was what the picture dictated, but it’s really hard when you’re drawing it! The hair that’s in front of my face is the obvious choice, so I tried to make it almost transparent, wispy, disappearing.

It does look a lot like me, so that’s a plus. The overall style isn’t my favorite, but it was fun and I like to look back and see where I came from as my style transitions.

Overall I do believe I am very happy with my first real self-portrait. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

A bird without wings

There are lots of animal-inspired poses in yoga (i.e. Camel and Cow, Down Dog) and quite a few of them are birds: there’s Bird of Paradise, there’s Pigeon, and then there’s Crow. It always seems to me to be perched there, wingless, or at least with that impression.ย Here’s what it looks like:

crow

Heart shining forward, head creating a tripod with your hands, complete balance. You can take this up to a handstand, scorpion, or a whole bunch of other poses! At any rate, it’s a fun one, a balance pose is always a challenge. It has taken me some time to master this one – when I was younger my light weight made it easy to pop right up onto my elbows. Now that I’m older (and heavier) it’s not so easy. I had a fear of falling on my head for the longest time until my yoga instructor encouraged me to give it a shot again and spotted me as I tried. With guidance and security I was able to achieve Crow this year and feel very comfortable with it now! I’m so happy, it’s a major accomplishment and I hope it turns into a stepping stone to other great poses. It has opened the door to a plethora of new challenges and experiences!

I do believe I am happy with this.

What your shoulders can bear

I felt like doing more than usual tonight. I wanted to show Plow pose, but also the next step from there – Shoulder Stand. I personally love both of these poses, it’s sort of my test to new yoga studios. If they do Plow at the end of class, it’s got my thumbs up! ๐Ÿ˜‰

So the drawing on the left is what I started with, really small and simple, just trying to show what the idea is. The right shows full Shoulder Stand. Well, I think you’re actually supposed to support your back with your hands, so there isn’t so much pressure on your neck and shoulders. But I forgot that, so I drew it incorrectly – oh well!

As a side note, this type of pose is called an ‘inversion’ (for obvious reasons), and it’s really healthy! It’s good to reverse the blood flow, get things moving around, send some blood to the ol’ brain. It helps increase your circulation, too, so give it a shot.

Your Two Shoulders

As I’ve mentioned before, getting back to the sketchy-ness I once had, and so far I’m really happy with the way things are coming out! I love the darkness of it – there’s so much more to look at when your eye almost has to search for it. Adds character, too, I think. Question, if you care to answer: is it givingย new character to the skeleton, or is it my own character being imputed to the page?

So that’s it, Plow and Shoulder Stand. As a warning I think I’m going to bring this yoga series to a close soon. It’s a vast collection that is ever growing, but I don’t think I’ll get to finish all of the poses, at least not right now. I want to let my mind take me on its own track as I am inspired by the events in my life, rather than sticking with the yoga idea for longer than my attention span can take it. At some point I’m bound to get sloppy or careless, and I want to keep these drawings fresh and new! We’ll see what’s next…

I do believe I am happy with this set.

The Unattainable

What do people most often want the most? The unattainable. Think about it – it’s a huge tangent that I won’t go into here and now, but if your eyes are open to it you’ll see it all the time in today’s culture and society.

So that ties into this post because I always consider a split to be unattainable, which is why I so admire those who are able to do it. A standing split is also very difficult, butย I was recently challenged in my yoga practice to do FIFTEEN standing splits! It was intense, but it pushed my limits, and helped me to grow. To me, a standing split is the stepping stone to a split. It’s easier for me, it’s a whole different muscle group, a practice in and of itself.

I find that during the growing experience – those moments when you kind of hate whoever is telling you to keep going – it’s terrible: I keep having doubts, keep hearing myself muttering mild expletives as I try harder and harder. It’s not fun, it’s definitely not easy, but yet we do it anyway. And in the end, you feel great! Because you’ve either gone farther than you ever have before, or you’ve achieved a new goal, or you just feel like you’ve reached the full capacity of your abilities, and that’s an amazing feeling! At least it is to me, and if you’ve never felt that, I encourage you to push through, because the reward is great!

Alright, enough of that. After the rigorous and continuous standing split extravaganza of Tuesday night’s class I was inspired to draw the pose itself in its full expression (at least I think so). I am by no means here yet, but one day I hope to get there and possibly that will take me into trying a full split, grounded, like a pro. ๐Ÿ™‚

Standing Splits:

Standing Splits

The sketch itself isn’t perfect, it’s a little off with the angles, but you get the idea. I am really liking the rib cage on this one since I decided to black out the in-between lines. I think it adds depth.

I felt that I should name this guy, so I’m calling him Hobbles – as a nickname. His face certainly doesn’t imply a ‘Hobbles’.

I do believe I am very happy with this guy!

Back to basics

You’ll please recall in the post “Moo” I didn’t know what sound a camel made. I still don’t, actually, but I read somewhere that they can make quite the range of noises and can sound like a bunch of different animals, so there isn’t a classic onomatopoeia associated with camels, I guess.

Anyway, in that post I mentioned that I had decided to draw Cow pose “next”…well next has arrived. I drew Cow last night and here it is:

Cow

Cow is a very open position. It is most commonly found in the short series “Cat-Cow” which takes you from one spinal extreme to the other. This help to warm you up and maintain flexibility in the spine (remember, you’re only as young as your spine!). Tailbone and shoulders are spread, opening the chest and hips. The face, head, and neck are all extended forward, if not a very little bit upward. I’m careful about the neck at this point since I’ve always been taught as a singer never to drop your head backward, as it strains the vocal chords.

So that’s Cow for ya. It’s very plain and simple, but it’s the basics that ground us – a tree cannot grow without its roots, so plant your roots deep and strong.

I do believe I am happy with this one.

Opening up

I actually have another sketch that I did between the last one and this one, but it’s not yoga-related so I’m going to wait to post it until I feel I’ve finished my yoga series. Sorry! Be patient, it’s a virtue.

This pose is called Side Angle, or in sanskrit: utthita parsvakonasana. ๐Ÿ™‚ A mouthful I know. That’s why we call it side angle.

You can optionally extend the arm – how I depicted it here – which allows the side body to really open up. It’s a lovely pose that really helps stretch you out. I’m usually sitting at my desk for the majority of the day, and after a long day of sinking deeper into your chair and yourself, a good opener like this is perfect.

Side Angle

A note on my style: I’ve noticed the intricacy of my last few drawings, and realized that they are lacking the sketchy quality that I love. So I’m really loosening up again and reminding myself that sometimes it’s okay to color outside the lines!

This is exciting, folks – we are current! I drew this side angle sketch THIS WEEK! So what you’re seeing now are the real deal, here and now, as they come to me. Enjoy!

I do believe I am happy with this guy.